Question: In Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.12, we find Brahmā desiring and becoming passionate about his own daughter Vāk. Since Brahmā’s daughter is called Vāk (“spoken word”), may we conclude that Brahmā’s heinous intention is connected to how difficult it is to control the urge of the tongue, specifically in relation to the impulse for speech?
Answer: Yes, it can be interpreted that way. These stories can be interpreted in multiple ways. Moreover, the urge to talk and the urge for sex are related. Therefore it is depicted in the form of a story that Brahmā runs after his daughter out of passion.
Question: If I allow my feet to be touched by others, is their karma transferred to me?
Answer: It depends on how you take it. Generally speaking, a Vaiṣṇava is free from sin and cannot be influenced by others’ sins. However, if you feel proud for being respected like this, you feel happy, then you become implicated. It is natural that next time, if he does not touch your feet, then you feel disturbed, but you may not show it. Moreover, we may feel obliged toward the person who gives you respect. If he asks you for a favor, it may be difficult for you to refuse, although you may not be willing to help. In that sense, you are taking the karma of that person.
Question: Is the passing of the four yugas the same in each and every universe?
Answer: Different universes have different yugas going on; they are not all created simultaneously.
Question: There is one verse in Hari-bhakti-vilasa (XVII.131) which makes me wonder why one should not show one’s mala, mantra and mudra even to one’s guru. My translation may not be very precise since I do not know what to do with the last word, but it says that one should not show one’s mala and mudra even to one’s guru because Bhutas, ghosts, Siddhas, Gandharvas and Caranas steal (हरन्ति) the results of such activities being visible to others (प्रकटं). How can the results of japa be stolen while they are spiritual? If the outcome of japa is bhakti, can anyone interfere with it?
Answer: No one can steal the spiritual result, but higher beings, as well as lower beings, can create obstacles and that can be seen as stealing. In SB 11.4.10, it is mentioned that higher beings can create obstacles for a devotee. When you do japa, you are focusing your mind, and this creates some energy in your body, in addition to having a spiritual effect. The higher beings can interfere with that energy. If a small Corona virus can interfere, then surely the bhūtas, etc., can also interfere.
The reason behind not revealing your mantra, māla, etc is that one should keep one’s spiritual practice confidential. If others come to know about your sādhana, there are two things possible. If you are doing it better than other, they will either praise you, become jealous or both. This is certainly not conducive to one’s spiritual practice. Praise can make one proud, which is an obstacle and jealousy will also create unfavorable vibrations and interfere with one’s practice. However is one’s sadhana is not on par with others, they will criticize. This will cause disturbance to the practitioner. In both instances, you are being instrumental in others committing offense towards you. So all this can be seen as an obstacle to one’s progress, which is as good as someone stealing your spiritual practice.
It is seen that criminals are very enthusiastic and intelligent, which are necessary traits to be successful. On the other hand, generally people who take to spiritual life are unenthusiastic and dull, and thus are not very successful.
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